Quantcast

Greg Mitchell | The Nation

  •  
Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

'Frontline' WikiLeaks Program: No Meat, Just a Goldfish

The mountain labored, and in the end, it gave birth to a mouse. Or rather, a goldfish. One of the only bits of new information in the much-ballyhooed PBS Frontline program on WikiLeaks, Assange and Bradley Manning which aired tonight was: The man who fingered Manning, Adrian Lamo, secluded in California, has a large goldfish in his apartment.

The other scoop: It was Manning’s aunt who made the final update to his Facebook page, announcing his arrest. Come to think of it, maybe that one came out before. But we’ve still got that goldfish.

The rest of the program, from beginning to end, was nothing but rehash, much of it from news reports going back to last June or a little later. We also heard from plenty of Assange critics making their usual and much-published charges. We absorbed multiple appearances by David Leigh, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Nick Davies, Bill Keller. Paging Glenn Greenwald! We did get a few seconds of Dan Ellsberg—at a rally.

It took Manning’s friend, David House, about fifty-five minutes in to remind viewers, and correspondent Martin Smith, that the soldier has not been convicted of anything. But you’d never know it from the program (which you can watch online here, and peruse related material).

Actually, the biggest scoop of the night came from the WikiLeaks site, which posted the complete fifty-five-minute interview that Smith conducted with Assange. It opens with Assange rightly scolding Smith for a quarter-hour about his segment earlier this year on Manning’s teenage years (I made most of the same points myself in a piece the night it aired and in my Bradley Manning book).

WikiLeaks has also posted the full transcript of the non-scolding part of the interview from the PBS site, along with—at the bottom of the page—correspondence between an Assange associate and the Frontline producer Marcela Gaviria about the ground rules for the interview. Gaviria calls previous coverage and films on WikiLeaks “unsatisfactory and uneven.”

From teasers and excerpts released by Frontline in recent days, it seemed possible that they had some new evidence connecting Assange more directly to Manning in his leaking, thus putting him in further legal jeopardy. Any fears about that proved needless. All you had was Eric Schmitt of the New York Times saying that he believes, with no evidence, that maybe there was an intermediary between Manning and Assange, but then again, he adds, Assange was “too savvy” to risk anything more than that (if that).

The program also painted a picture of Assange—again, extremely familiar—of not caring about Manning because he released all those documents last year that put the soldier in deeper legal trouble. Of course, the problem with that argument is that Manning was already under arrest, his computers seized as evidence, the chat logs (if legit) made public.

We also got the usual charge that Assange had not fully redacted some of the Afghanistan war logs, without mentioning that there are no documented cases of anyone being harmed because of that—or from the release of any of the other millions of docs.

And there was no mention until the very end of any good that came from Manning’s alleged actions and Assange’s publishing ventures, and even then, confined to Tunisia and maybe Egypt. Needless to say, there was nothing raised about the concepts of the public good, government transparecy, or watchdog journalism and media responsibility.

The program closed with a fake Manning typing on a computer screen about wanting to get the truth out. But we never got a glimpse of the abuses he witnessed in Iraq and/or political views that helped spark his leaking—only his fights with his boyfriend and the stress produced by “don’t ask, don’t tell.” For what they left out, go here.

As for that goldfish—I am now reliably informed that actually it made its first appearance in an Al Jazeera segment on Lamo.

Greg Mitchell’s current books on this subject are The Age of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, Truth and Consequences, in book and e-book, form.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Tuesday, Day 178

As I’ve done for nearly six months, I'm updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning all day, with new items added at the top. All times ET.  Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Read about my books The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, and Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here.

UPDATE: Here's Wednesday edition of this blog.

10:40  My review of tonight's Frontline yawner on WikiLeaks: No Meat, Just a Goldfish.

8:00 True to from -- though you wonder why more people don't do this -- WikiLeaks has just "leaked" the full interview conducted by PBS Frontline's Martin Smith with Assange in advance of their show tonight.  Viewers can then judge what was fairly or unfairly discarded.  WikiLeaks states: "In the tape, Assange scolds Martin Smith for his previous coverage of Bradley Manning and addresses a number of issues surrounding the 1917 Espionage Act investigation into WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning.  The Frontline documentary will include footage of a number of individuals who have a collective, and very dirty personal vendetta, against the organization. These include David Leigh, Adrian Lamo, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Eric Schmitt and Kim Zetter. While the program filmed other sources, such as Vaughan Smith who provided a counter-narrative, these more credible voices have been excluded from the program presented to the US public."

7:00  For full background on Manning and Assange and more:  my book The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, or  Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here, both hailed by Glenn Greenwald, Dan Ellsberg,  Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman.

6:30  One year ago this week, Adrian Lamo was in the middle of his five days of "chatting" with Bradley Manning online, and now comes news from Wired.com that he has been summoned to Washington appear before the military prosecutors preparing Manning's courtmartial.   "I’m finally going to meet with the JAG officer to go over the preliminaries for the actual testimony and how they want to play out my role,” Lamo said. “It’s the first time I’ve met with them.”  Wired points out:The meeting is set for June 2nd and 3rd in Washington D.C., and marks the first outward sign that Manning’s court martial case is proceeding apace now that a lengthy inquiry into his mental health has concluded.

5:10  New concerns raised in UK  by leading MP, also Index on Censorship official, that Obama's now-famous statement at fundraiser "prejudiced" case against Manning.

4:55  Day 2 of the El Salvador cables.

4:30  That pro-Manning billboard we've mentioned before, for D.C. area, now fully funded.

2:25 PBS NewsHour interviews writer/narrator of Frontline's WikiLeaks program tonight.   Martin Smith (and see more quotes in item below) talks about impact of DADT making him "miserable" and  "disaffected and unhappy."  But adds that he "also had a conscience."   The NewsHour spot also has brief clip from program with Adrian Lamo interview. Smith is asked if Assange was "active or passive" actor.   He says this is "central question," but leaves it at that.

1:00 The "Takeaway" public radio show today interviewed Brian Manning, Bradley Manning's father.  He said his son was "not mistreated" overtly at Quantico, but later adds that he never spoke to his son there without a guard being present and video tape running (he has not yet visited him at Leavenworth)  Also says he's convinced his son is innocent.  "I've been in IT for over 30 years and I can't see that volume of information being taken out from under the noses...in small room with five people in it." Asked if he is political prisoner, he says, "Bradley has never had any political views.  I can't see how they can be attacking him on political grounds.....It sounds like they were looking for a scapegoat, and they found one." 

Martin Smith, the writer and narrator of the show, says in the same interview that the program  finds Assange's relationship with Manning "an open question."   As I've noted, from the chat logs, there's some indication there of a relationship "if not with Assange, then someone else at WikiLeaks."   If not "political," he adds, Manning does talk a lot in the logs (as I've stressed)  about doing "good," weighing risks and what should be done, and so on.   NOTE:  An earlier version of this blog post suggested that Smith in the interview said flatly that what Manning did was wrong.  Actually, this is a statement by Manning's father, if his son is indeed guilty.

11:45  Jessica Smith, marketing communications manager for Frontline, sent me this clarification for my comment below about Facebook postings missing for the weeks surrounding Manning's "chats" with Lamo: "In today’s post, you state 'Oddly, it is missing everything from the period when he was chatting with Adrian Lamo, although (also surprisingly) there is an update after his arrest.' This may be interpreted by your readers to mean that Frontline edited out material from this time period, which it did not.  Our editors published everything available on the Wall that was authored by Manning -- status updates, articles, pictures and 'likes' -- and the responses of his Facebook friends. We blurred the identities of those other than Manning posting comments or in pictures, as well as the names of people mentioned in the posts, with the exception of public figures and in several cases Manning's ex-boyfriend Tyler Watkins.  We did not alter the timeline."

10:00 Frontline, in advance of tonight's Manning/Assange episode, posts very lengthy, somewhat redacted and annotated version of Manning's Facebook postings from the months before his arrest -- and going back to 2007, suggesting this helps us know his mind.    Plenty of musings about his personal life, frustrations with military, along with lists of "likes" (Rachel Maddow Show, Michelle Obama, and so on).  Oddly, it is missing everything from the period when he was chatting with Adrian Lamo, although (also surprisingly)  there is an update after his arrest.  Some are questioning the journalistic ethics of posting all of this.  

9:55 NYT 's  James Risen subpoenaed again in hot leak case involving Jeffery Sterling: 

7:40  Frontline special on Manning and Assange airining tonight on PBS--but will be online before then, most likely.    Part V of my series on Bradley Manning, marking 1st anniv of his arrest and tomorrow's PBS program.  Do the chat logs provide evidence against Assange? 

7:35  How U.S. bungled Ecuador in attempt to step region's "pink tide" move to Left.

6:30  An extensive directory of "leak" sites, from WIkiLeaks spinoffs to mainstream media attempts and seemingly everything in between.

6:00  Preview of The Takeaway interview with Bradley Manning's dad  for first anniversary of his son's arrest.

12:05  NYT on the "super injunctions" and Twitter,  Manchester United star, and more, from UK.

12:00  New from Naomi Wolf: "We now live in a world in which men like former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who was investigating financial wrongdoing by the insurance giant AIG, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Strauss-Kahn — whose efforts to reform the IMF gained him powerful opponents — can be, and are, kept under constant surveillance."

From late Monday

Michael Busch with another good post on far-flung WikiLeaks fallout, this time on....Mauritania.

  Manning Support Network just announced a teleconference for this Wednesday, featuring Assange, Ellsberg, Greenwald, others, marking nearly the first anniv of his arrest in Iraq. 

ABC News: New cables push U.S. and Pakistan relations "to the brink."

The plot thickens, as EFF and ACLU ask, who ratted out WikiLeaks

The Unmaking of Bradley Manning, Part V: 'The White-Haired Dude,' the Chat Logs, and the 'New Yorker' Writer

As I wrote yesterday, the influential PBS Frontline series presents a full hour tomorrow on WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning.  They’ve posted three teasers and excerpts already.    What might be most significant, and controversial, about Tuesday’s show -- which appears almost one year from the day of Manning's arrest --  is what appears to be an attempt to link Manning to Assange (or someone else at WikiLeaks) in a more direct way than what has emerged to date. 

 The idea that Assange did not simply receive massive, anonymous uploads from a military intelligence officer forms the heart of the U.S. government’s attempt to prosecute him under the Espionage Act.  To carry that off, the Department of Justice probably has to convince a grand jury that Assange directed or assisted  Manning in his leaking or had some other intimate contact.  

Assange has denied this (some times a little vaguely), while asserting that he had never heard Manning’s name until the soldier was arrested.  Several months ago, NBC reported that the U.S. so far had not gotten any evidence out of Manning or anyone else establishing a more aggressive Assange role in the leak.  There are tantalizing hints, however,  in the now infamous Manning-Adrian Lamo “chat logs,” and I have published relevant extracts below.  But one also has to remember that a) some question the veracity of these logs, b) in any case, they have been heavily redacted, and it’s not known what exactly has been omitted, and c) Manning might merely have  been boasting, wrongly,  about knowing Assange in the logs. 

Frontline also considers, among other angles, whether the leaked files were not uploaded to WikiLeaks’ main portal but possibly were “handed off.”   That is, with some third party intervention.  The lengthy summary of the coming episode (if history is any guide, it will appear online first, on Tuesday morning) 

 In the chat logs below, I have omitted one key segment, which you can find in an important blog piece posted last Friday by New Yorker writer Raffi Khatchadourian, one of the keenest observers of all things WikiLeaks for the past year. 

In the piece, he points to a little noted detail in the chat logs – Manning’s reference, one year ago this week, to a 10,000 word profile of Assange set to be published two weeks later in The New Yorker, and written by Khatchadourian.  (It figures prominently in my book,The Age of WikiLeaks).    The writer now asks: How could Manning, over in Iraq, and likely not plugged into the New York magazine scene,  know about the article, right down to its length?   Likely it had to be, if not  Assange, someone else connected to WikiLeaks.

Khatchadourian admits that he has not written about his connection to the case previously because it opens him up to questioning, even a subpoena, from federal authorities.  To his credit, he then goes on to state that even if Assange is linked more directly to Manning any federal prosecution of the WikiLeaks leader would still be misguided.

Now here are the excerpts from the chat logs re: Assange.    Many pages from the logs, and much else relating to this case, is found in my new book, Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences, in print  and as e-book.

May 22

bradass87: lets just say *someone* i know intimately well, has been penetrating US classified networks, mining data like the ones described… and been transferring that data from the classified networks over the “air gap” onto a commercial network computer… sorting the data, compressing it, encrypting it, and uploading it to a crazy white haired aussie who can’t seem to stay in one country very long
bradass87: crazy white haired dude = Julian Assange

Manning: im a source, not quite a volunteer
Manning: i mean, im a high profile source… and i’ve developed a relationship with assange… but i dont know much more than what he tells me, which is very little
Manning: it took me four months to confirm that the person i was communicating was in fact assange
Lamo: how’d you do that?
Manning: I gathered more info when i questioned him whenever he was being tailed in Sweden by State Department officials… i was trying to figure out who was following him… and why… and he was telling me stories of other times he’s been followed… and they matched up with the ones he’s said publicly
Lamo: did that bear out? the surveillance?
Manning: based on the description he gave me, I assessed it was the Northern Europe Diplomatic Security Team… trying to figure out how he got the
Reykjavik cable…

 May 23

Lamo: Does Assange use AIM or other messaging services? I’d like to chat with him one of these days about opsec. My only credentials beyond intrusion are that the FBI never got my data or found me, before my negotiated surrender, but that’s something.
Lamo: And my data was never recovered.
Manning: no he does not use AIM
Lamo: How would I get ahold of him?
Manning: he would come to you
Lamo: I’ve never failed to get ahold of someone.
Manning: he does use OTR though… but discusses nothing OPSEC
Lamo: I cornered Ashcroft IRL, in the end.
Manning: he *might* use the ccc.de jabber server… but you didn’t hear that from me
Lamo: gotcha…

 May 25

(Referring to the incident in Iraq captured in the Collateral Murder video)

Manning: event occurs in 2007, i watch video in 2009 with no context, do research, forward information to group of FOI activists, more research occurs, video is released in 2010, those involved come forward to discuss event, i witness those involved coming forward to discuss publicly, even add them as friends on FB… without them knowing who i am…

Lamo: How long between the leak and the publication?
Manning: some time in February….
Lamo: submission where?
Manning: wl.org submission system
Lamo: in the massive queue?
Manning: lol, yeah, it IS pretty massive…

Manning: buried
Manning: long term sources do get preference… i can see where the “unfairness” factor comes in
Lamo: how does that preference work?
Manning: veracity… the material is easy to verify…
Manning: because they know a little bit more about the source than a purely anonymous one
Manning: and confirmation publicly from earlier material, would make them more likely to publish… i guess…
Manning: im not saying they do… but i can see how that might develop
Manning: if two of the largest public relations “coups” have come from a single source… for instance
Manning: you yeah… purely *submitting* material is more likely to get overlooked without contacting them by other means and saying hey, check your submissions for x…

 Greg Mitchell's current books on this subject are "The Age of WikiLeaks" and "Bradley Manning, Truth and Consequences," in book and e-book, form.

 

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Monday, Day 177

As I’ve done for nearly six months, I'm updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning all day, with new items added at the top. All times ET.  Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Read about my books The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, and Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here.

7:30  Another country heard from!  This time it's ElSalvadorLeaks, with  news on trouble with U.S. relations.

5:55 Part V of my series on Bradley Manning, marking 5th anniv of his arrest and tomorrow's PBS program.  Do the chat logs provide evidence against Assange? 

5:45  Michael Busch with another good post on far-flung WikiLeaks fallout, this time on....Mauritania.

2:45   Manning Support Network just announced a teleconference for this Wednesday, featuring Assange, Ellsberg, Greenwald, others, marking nearly the first anniv of his arrest in Iraq. 

1:50  ABC News: New cables push U.S. and Pakistan relations "to the brink." 

1:45  The plot thickens, as EFF and ACLU ask, who ratted out WikiLeaks

1:40  Another day, another media partner for WikiLeaks and new cables for that that country: Malaysia.

1:35  New low prices for my book The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, or  Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here, both hailed by Glenn Greenwald, Dan Ellsberg,  Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman.

11:20  From @WlLegal:  "Australian PM declared #WikiLeaks "illegal" then waited 5 days to read "urgent" memo informing her no law was broken  "  http://bit.ly/lOvVAA

10:40  My colleague Kevin Gosztola with a new interview probing the Pakistan Papers release.

9:30  After all the books, music videos and movie deals, now there's a "WikiPlay" opening.

 8:55  My new piece previews major Frontline piece on WikiLeaks, Assange and Manning, this Tuesday.

8:50  Assange speaks to Brighton Festival -- via web link. 

12:00  Now NYT gets to subject  of that British test  case on privacy,  free speech,  Twitter and "super injunctions." 

From late Sunday

If you saw NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake on "60 Minutes" and his "chilling" warning, check out Jane Mayer's New Yorker piece from earlier this week.

First cable leaks re: Jamaica, published today in new WikiLeaks partner paper there, having big potential impact, this report claims.

Another WikiLeaks bombshell from Pakistan Papers, here covered by Fox News:  Donors in UAE and  Saudi Arabia sending $100 million to Pakistran to fund "militant" schools. "The donations come from Islamic charities and missionary organizations and are made 'ostensibly with the direct support'  of the Saudi and Emirati governments, said the cable, which was written in November 2008 and was based on Pakistani government and nongovernment sources that were not identified.

Part III of my series marking 1st anniv of the "Unmaking of Bradley Manning," w/ extensive excerpts from chat logs.

  Analysis of Pakistan Papers from home news outlet, Dawn Media.  "If there is a theme as such in the 4,000-plus cables read by Dawn, it is the unparalleled access Americans enjoy in Pakistan. Hardly surprising, though it is something else to see it in black and white, over and over again, in cable after cable. The political class is seen perennially knocking on the doors of American officials to share information and vie for support.

"And American officials appear to have open-door access at the highest echelons of political and military power in the country."

The Unmaking of Bradley Manning, Part IV: Will Tuesday's 'Frontline' Make Legal Case Against Assange?

The influential PBS Frontline series presents a full hour this Tuesday on WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, and the producers seem to be promoting it heavily, claiming “for the first time, the whole story…from the inside.” They’ve posted three teasers / trailers already plus a lengthy text preview. Frontline has been promising it since March 29 when it devoted a ten-minute segment to Bradley Manning’s formative years. Tuesday’s show, titled “Wiki Secrets,” picks up where that segment left off, with Manning joining the Army and getting sent to Iraq.

What might be most significant, and controversial, about Tuesday’s show—Manning was arrested in Iraq almost exactly one year ago following his alleged online “chats” with Adrian Lamo—is the apparent attempt to link Manning to Assange (or someone else at WikiLeaks) in a more direct way than what has emerged to date. (UPDATE: Part V of this series here.)

The idea that Assange did not simply receive massive, anonymous uploads from a military intelligence officer forms the heart of the US government’s attempt to prosecute him under the Espionage Act. To carry that off, the Department of Justice probably has to convince a grand jury that Assange directed Manning in his leaking or had some other intimate contact beyond the more protected role of “publisher.”

Assange has denied this claim (some times a little vaguely), while asserting that he had never heard Manning’s name until the soldier was arrested. Several months ago, NBC reported that the US so far had not obtained any evidence out of Manning or anyone else establishing a more aggressive Assange role in the leak. It should also be emphasized that even if Assange did have direct contact with Manning, many legal authorities believe this does not warrant a US indictment.

But the Frontline teaser material indicates that they look at this issue deeply in this program, including the possibility that the leaked files were not uploaded to WikiLeaks’ main portal but were “handed off.” That is, with some third party intervention.

In an earlier piece, I questioned the tone of the March 29 Frontline segment. I asserted that it focused too much on Manning’s “personal problems, and ‘aimless’ life before joining the Army” and “it makes no mention whatsoever of his political or philosophical views,” instead suggesting that, mainly, he had “daddy” issues. It also failed to mention whatsoever the controversy over his near-solitary confinement in the brig at Quantico, Virginia—he has since been transferred to medium custody at Leavenworth.

But the Tuesday show shifts to the nuts and bolts of his alleged leaking, and offers, among other things, what it calls the first interview with his Army “bunkmate,” plus chats with prime Assange critics David Leigh and Daniel Domscheit-Berg, and Adrian Lamo himself. It’s hard to imagine that it could cause even deeper trouble for Manning, but the picture it paints of Assange’s role could be damaging.

In the first brief video touting the program, one unidentified interviewee says it was clear that Assange was “calling the shots” (but we don’t know the context for that charge). Another excerpt focuses on Manning backing gay rights causes while in the military, a risky step. A second excerpt from the show finds Manning coming to the US on leave from Iraq, and feeling emotionally “abandoned” by an ex-boyfriend. It shows a few seconds of a party for hackers in the Boston area with a very young and tiny looking Manning socializing. In a portentous voiceover, reporter Martin Smith narrates, “The young intelligence analyst, full of secrets, was mingling among hackers.”

Investigators now believe, he added, that Manning “either uploaded or handed off” the Iraq and Afghanistan “war logs.” The “handed off” part is the key point here. Some in the past have suggested that Manning handed off to someone in that community of hackers, and authorities have questioned members of that circle repeatedly. One of the members, unnamed, was recently called to appear before the federal grand jury probing Wikileaks in Alexandria, Virginia. (For the full story on this case, see my current book, the only one on this subject, Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences in print and e-book, form.)

Finally, the lengthy written summary of the coming episode (if history is any guide, it will appear online first, on Tuesday morning) posted at PBS site includes the following:

“WikiSecrets also examines the relationship between Manning and Julian Assange, the founder of WikilLeaks. In public statements, and in his interview with FRONTLINE, Assange has denied any direct contact with Manning or any WikiLeaks source. But hacker Lamo says that Manning indicated otherwise in their online chat: ‘He mentioned Julian Assange in the context Julian was the individual at WikiLeaks who he had initially establish contact with.’

“Wired.com’s Kim Zetter tells FRONTLINE an email she received from Assange not long after the story broke. ‘He contacted me, and he wanted the chat logs,’ she said. ‘He said that he needed it in order to prepare Manning’s defense.… I can only speculate, but I think that he was concerned about what was in the chat logs about himself.’” This would seem only natural, however, no matter what Assange’s active or passive role in the leaking.

And a final excerpt: “We don’t really know whether Manning approached WikiLeaks or people around WikiLeaks or if it was the other way around,” says Eric Schmitt, the New York Times reporter sent to London at one point to comb through some fo the leaked documents. “But my theory is whichever way it is, there’s an intermediary.… So somewhere in this mix you have Manning with access to this information; you’ve got WikiLeaks and Julian Assange with the desire to get it; and you’ve got a helpful intermediary. And somewhere in between here there’s a transfer I believe takes place.”

Tomorrow: In Part V of this series, what Manning actually said about Assange in the chat logs—and some intriguing new evidence from a New Yorker writer.

Greg Mitchell’s current books on this subject are The Age of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, Truth and Consequences, in book and e-book, form.

The Unmaking of Bradley Manning, Part III -- The Chat Logs

After several weeks of intense attention, Pvt. Bradley Manning began to slip off the media’s radar screens again last month with his  transfer from the maximum security brig at Quantico to a medium-custody military prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, while he awaits trial.  

That is about to change again, as the first anniversary of his alleged online “chatting” with convicted hacker Adrian Lamo -- it  led to his arrest on multiple charges of leaking classified information -- arrives this weekend.    On Tuesday, PBS Frontline plans a full program on Manning, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, and they  promise to air new information. (See Part IV in this series for preview.)

I’ll be previewing the Frontline show on Monday, and have already covered here the past two days what led up to Manning "meeting" Lamo and his arrest.   But now  let's just look at his first day of extensive chatting with Lamo (as alleged by authorities).   Controversy has surrounded the fact that the entire logs have not been published, just selected, if lengthy parts, with Wired and others redacting portions.  FireDogLake put together a version combining what appeared in a few different sources.  References to Assange gaining new notice, although they could be nothing more than idle boasting.

Here is a lengthy excerpt from May 22, 2010, drawn from my current book and e-book, Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences.  

*

bradass87: hypothetical question: if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time… say, 8-9 months… and you saw incredible things, awful things… things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC what would you do?bradass87: or Guantanamo, Bagram, Bucca, Taji, VBC for that matter…
bradass87: things that would have an impact on 6.7 billion people
bradass87:  say… a database of half a million events during the iraq war… from 2004 to 2009… with reports, date time groups, lat-lon locations, casualty figures… ? or 260,000 state department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world, explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective?...
Adrian: Depends. What are the particulars?...

bradass87: lets just say *someone* i know intimately well, has been penetrating US classified networks, mining data like the ones described… and been transferring that data from the classified networks over the “air gap” onto a commercial network computer… sorting the data, compressing it, encrypting it, and uploading it to a crazy white haired aussie who can’t seem to stay in one country very long
bradass87: crazy white haired dude = Julian Assange
bradass87: in other words… ive made a huge mess
bradass87: im sorry… im just emotionally fractured
bradass87: im a total mess
bradass87: i think im in more potential heat than you ever were…

 Adrian: there are always outs
Adrian: how long have you helped Wikileaks?
bradass87: since they released the 9/11 “pager messages”

bradass87: i immediately recognized that they were from an NSA database, and i felt comfortable enough to come forward
bradass87: so… right after thanksgiving timeframe of 2009
bradass87: Hilary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and finds an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format to the public…
bradass87: uhm… crazy, almost criminal political backdealings… the non-PR-versions of world events and crises… uhm… all kinds of stuff like everything from the buildup to the Iraq War during Powell, to what the actual content of “aid packages” is: for instance, PR that the US is sending aid to pakistan includes funding for water/food/clothing… that much is true, it includes that, but the other 85% of it is for F-16 fighters and munitions to aid in the Afghanistan effort, so the US can call in Pakistanis to do aerial bombing instead of americans potentially killing civilians and creating a PR crisis
bradass87: theres so much… it affects everybody on earth…
everywhere there’s a US post… there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed… Iceland, the Vatican, Spain, Brazil, Madascar, if its a country, and its recognized by the US as a country, its got dirt on it
bradass87: its open diplomacy… world-wide anarchy in CSV format… its Climategate with a global scope, and breathtaking depth… its beautiful, and horrifying…

bradass87: and… its important that it gets out… i feel, for some bizarre reason
 bradass87: it might actually change something
bradass87: i just… dont wish to be a part of it… at least not now… im not ready… i wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me… plastered all over the world press…

bradass87: i’ve totally lost my mind… i make no sense… the CPU is not made for this motherboard…
bradass87: >sigh<
bradass87: i just wanted enough time to figure myself out… to be myself… and be running around all the time, trying to meet someone else’s expectations
bradass87: and not be
bradass87: im just kind of drifting now…
bradass87: waiting to redeploy to the US, be discharged…
bradass87: all while witnessing the world freak out as its most intimate secrets are revealed
bradass87: its such an awkward place to be in, emotionally and psychologically…

Manning: i cant believe what im confessing to you :’(
Manning: ive been so isolated so long… i just wanted to be nice, and live a normal life… but events kept forcing me to figure out ways to survive… smart enough to know whats going on, but helpless to do anything… no-one took any notice of me
Manning: :’(
Lamo:  back
Manning: im self medicating like crazy when im not toiling in the supply office (my new location, since im being discharged, im not offically intel anymore)
Manning: you missed a lot…

Lamo: what kind of scandal?
Manning: hundreds of them
Lamo: like what? I’m genuinely curious about details.
Manning: i dont know… theres so many… i dont have the original material anymore
Manning: uhmm… the Holy See and its position on the Vatican sex scandals…
 Manning: im sorry, there’s so many… its impossible for any one human to read all quarter-million… and not feel overwhelmed… and possibly desensitized
Manning: the scope is so broad… and yet the depth so rich
Lamo: give me some bona fides … yanno? any specifics.
Manning: this one was a test: Classified cable from US Embassy Reykjavik on Icesave dated
13 Jan 2010
Manning: the result of that one was that the icelandic ambassador to the
US was recalled, and fired…
Manning: i dont… i just want the material out there… i dont want to be a part of itAdrian: i’ve been considering helping wikileaks with opsec
 bradass87: they have decent opsec… im obviously violating it
 bradass87: im a wreck
 bradass87: im a total fucking wreck right now…

Manning: im a source, not quite a volunteer
Manning: i mean, im a high profile source… and i’ve developed a relationship with assange… but i dont know much more than what he tells me, which is very little
Manning: it took me four months to confirm that the person i was communicating was in fact assange
Lamo: how’d you do that?
Manning: I gathered more info when i questioned him whenever he was being tailed in Sweden by State Department officials… i was trying to figure out who was following him… and why… and he was telling me stories of other times he’s been followed… and they matched up with the ones he’s said publicly
Lamo: did that bear out? the surveillance?
Manning: based on the description he gave me, I assessed it was the Northern Europe Diplomatic Security Team… trying to figure out how he got the
Reykjavik cable…
Manning: they also caught wind that he had a video… of the Gharani airstrike in afghanistan, which he has, but hasn’t decrypted yet… the production team was actually working on the Baghdad strike though, which was never really encrypted…
 
Manning: i can’t believe what im telling you

 Greg Mitchell's current books on this subject are "The Age of WikiLeaks" and "Bradley Manning, Truth and Consequences," in book and e-book, form.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog -- Special Weekend Edition!

As I’ve done for nearly six months, I'm updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning all day, with new items added at the top. All times ET.  Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Read about my books The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, and Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here.

UPDATE: Here's the Monday edition of this blog.

SUNDAY 

8:35  First cable leaks re: Jamaica, published today in new WikiLeaks partner paper there, having big potential impact, this report claims.

7:00 My new piece previews major Frontline piece on WikiLeaks, Assange and Manning, this Tuesday.

10:25  Another WikiLeaks bombshell from Pakistan Papers, here covered by Fox News:  Donors in UAE and  Saudi Arabia sending $100 million to Pakistran to fund "militant" schools. "The donations come from Islamic charities and missionary organizations and are made 'ostensibly with the direct support'  of the Saudi and Emirati governments, said the cable, which was written in November 2008 and was based on Pakistani government and nongovernment sources that were not identified.

10:20  WikiLeaks spokesman responds to critic Domscheit-Berg on the confidentiality contract controversy.

10:00  The Age in Australia says it has obtained 260 pages of secret AUSTEO PM briefs and Situation Reports on WikiLeaks.   

9:50  Yet another paper partners with WikiLeaks and publishing cable:  Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner .

9:00  Part III of my series marking 1st anniv of the "Unmaking of Bradley Manning," w/ extensive excerpts from chat logs.

* SATURDAY *

11:00  Analysis of Pakistan Papers from home news outlet, Dawn Media.  "If there is a theme as such in the 4,000-plus cables read by Dawn, it is the unparalleled access Americans enjoy in Pakistan. Hardly surprising, though it is something else to see it in black and white, over and over again, in cable after cable. The political class is seen perennially knocking on the doors of American officials to share information and vie for support.

"And American officials appear to have open-door access at the highest echelons of political and military power in the country."

9:40  The Guardian:  Twitter and WikiLeaks have made a mockery of the courts.

5:00 Another bombshell from the Pakistan Papers:   cable reveals Prime Minister Bhutto asked U.S. for help in evaluating her security personnel, fearing for her safety  -- just two months before she was gunned down and killed -- and U.S. merely suggested she work with the forces she felt were out to get her...

10:35  WL Central wrapup of Pakistan Papers revelations.

9:00  More from The Pakistan Papers:  US troops embedded with Pakistan forces on Pakistani soil.  Quickly denied. 

8:55   ACLU: U.S. court may be concealing secret demands for WikiLeaks-related records

12:05   A little slow on the draw, but NYT finally covers the "Pakisan Papers."

From late Friday

8:00  Don't miss new piece from our pal Raffi Khatchadourian at The New Yorker (who had told he might be doing this).  It talks about the attempts to prosecute Assange by trying to prove he had direct contact with Manning or perhaps even helped direct him in his leaking.  Khatchadourian has some very important things against prosecuting Assange even IF that happened, but me is his point about his involvement via a mention in the infamous chat logs.  Manning tells Lamo that a 10,000 word profile of Assange is about to be published by The New Yorker (written by Raffi) -- and there would be no way he would know that unless someone associated with WikiLeaks told him.  Khatchadourian wonders if this will get him legally entangled in the case now. 

We've been keeping an eye on the upcoming PBS Frontline show on Manning and Assange --coming next Tuesday -- and now they've posted an exclusive video (which they'd mentioned) of a very slight Manning at a Boston hackers party  early last year, during his final leave from Iraq and just before he allegedly did his fateful leaking to WikiLeaks.  Excerpt from program below.  See the Wired write-up here.  I'll be previewing the show on Monday. 

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

10:50  And here's The Atlantic take on the Pakistan cables.  And a lengthy piece from Reuters.

  Good summary and commentary at Foreign Policy site on the important new Pakistan Papers release today.

Individual stories in the big Pakistan cable dump (see below) now getting attention, such as fears that the Taliban would pay more for soldier recruits than the gov't, and here - Kayani wanting MORE drone strikes (claim now denied).  And here -- Pakistan approving  U.S. troops in its country.  "In a comment written to Washington, former US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson stated that these deployments are 'highly politically sensitive' because of widely-held concerns among the public about Pakistani sovereignty and opposition to allowing foreign military forces to operate in any fashion on Pakistani soil."

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Friday, Day 174

As I’ve done for nearly six months, I'm updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning all day, with new items added at the top. All times ET.  Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Read about my books The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, and Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here. 

UPDATE:  Here's the weekend edition of this blog.

8:00  Don't miss new piece from our pal Raffi Khatchadourian at The New Yorker (who had told he might be doing this).  It talks about the attempts to prosecute Assange by trying to prove he had direct contact with Manning or perhaps even helped direct him in his leaking.  Khatchadourian has some very important things against prosecuting Assange even IF that happened, but me is his point about his involvement via a mention in the infamous chat logs.  Manning tells Lamo that a 10,000 word profile of Assange is about to be published by The New Yorker (written by Raffi) -- and there would be no way he would know that unless someone associated with WikiLeaks told him.  Khatchadourian wonders if this will get him legally entangled in the case now.  But read the whole piece.

7:00 We've been keeping an eye on the upcoming PBS Frontline show on Manning and Assange --coming next Tuesday -- and now they've posted an exclusive video (which they'd mentioned) of a very slight Manning at a Boston hackers party  early last year, during his final leave from Iraq and just before he allegedly did his fateful leaking to WikiLeaks.  Excerpt from program below.  See the Wired write-up here.  I'll be previewing the show on Monday. 

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

10:50  And here's The Atlantic take on the Pakistan cables.  And a lengthy piece from Reuters.

9:10  Good summary and commentary at Foreign Policy site on the important new Pakistan Papers release today.

8:10 Individual stories in the big Pakistan cable dump (see below) now getting attention, such as fears that the Taliban would pay more for soldier recruits than the gov't, and here - Kayani wanting MORE drone strikes (claim now denied).  And here -- Pakistan approving  U.S. troops in its country.  "In a comment written to Washington, former US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson stated that these deployments are 'highly politically sensitive' because of widely-held concerns among the public about Pakistani sovereignty and opposition to allowing foreign military forces to operate in any fashion on Pakistani soil."

7:55 A note from UK Friends of Bradley Manning:  "A public meeting at the House of Commons on the subject of Bradley Manning has just been announced for Tuesday 24th May at 6pm - the day before Barack Obama is set to address both Houses of Parliament.  All are welcome to attend and I'm hoping that the event will be filmed for future viewing online." 

7:50  Part II of my series on the Unmaking of Bradley Manning, marking first anniversary of the alleged online chats that led to his arrest.

12:00  Big news, at long last Wikileaks releases The Pakistan Papers, cables relating to hot-button area, via news outlet there, Dawn Media, and through The Hindu (a partner for awhile) in India.  And how it happened.

More big news:  AFP reports, "Then Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the sabotage of Iran's nuclear program in 2006, according to WikiLeaks documents published by Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot on Thursday. The leaked documents, which were not immediately available on either the Yediot or Wikileaks websites, purportedly detail talks between the head of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission and then-US ambassador to Israel Richard Jones."

 From late Thursday

@WLLegal:  In 30 min interview, fmr NYT counsel James Goodale says prosecuting #WikiLeaks is untenable in light of Pentagon Papers 

Three designs posted for proposed Bradley Manning billboard in D.C. area as fundraising continues.

 Marcy Wheeler at Fire Dog Lake with interesting comment on AP story about cable that shows U.S. - Saudi plans for faciltiies to protect oil fields and civilian nuclear power sites.   She finds it intriguing that cable is dated one week before Obama won election, when it was obvious he would win.

 Now our linking is surely complete as we are able to bring you, via WL Central, Henry Rollins on WikiLeaks

Greenpeace blog on WikiLeaks cables on rush to get resources and oil from the Arctic and possibly "stupid tipping point."

My new piece, first in a series marking first anniversary of the Bradley Manning case and arrest.  Today:  when leaks first appeared and how the Army private came to (allegedly) chat with Adrian Lamo.

One Year On: The Unmaking of Bradley Manning, Part II

After several weeks of intense attention, Pvt. Bradley Manning began to slip off the media’s radar screens again last month with his  transfer from the maximum security brig at Quantico to a medium-custody military prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, while he awaits trial.   That is about to change again, as the first anniversary of his alleged online “chatting” with convicted hacker Adrian Lamo -- it  led to his arrest on multiple charges of leaking classified information -- arrives on Friday.    Next Tuesday, PBS Frontline plans a full program on Manning, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, and they  promise to air new information.

I’ll be previewing the Frontline show later this week, and in other articles analyzing the Lamo logs and other aspects of the case,  but for now let’s turn to the  now infamous “chats”  --and the arrest that followed. Much of this is drawn from my current book and e-book, Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences.   (Update: Here's Part III in this series.) 

On June 6, a little over two weeks after Wired’s Lamo profile appeared, major news arrived out of nowhere. Wired’s popular Threat Level blog reported that “an Army intelligence analyst who boasted of giving classified U.S. combat video and hundreds of thousands of classified State Department cables to whistleblower site Wikileaks,” had been arrested by the military.

Kevin Poulsen and Kim Zetter wrote:  “Specialist Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Md., was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer, 40 miles east of Baghdad, where he was arrested nearly two weeks ago by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. A family member says he’s being held in custody in Kuwait and has not been formally charged.”  Manning was “turned in late last month by a former computer hacker with whom he spoke online,” they related. “In the course of their chats, Manning took credit for leaking a headline-making video of a helicopter attack that WikiLeaks posted online in April….

 “Manning came to the attention of the F.B.I. and Army investigators after he contacted former hacker Adrian Lamo late last month over instant messenger and e-mail.” 

Wired quoted from some of the alleged chat logs.  In one, Manning asked Lamo (photo above) , “If you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months, what would you do?”   On security:  “it was vulnerable as fuck ... no one suspected a thing ... kind of sad ... weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counter-intelligence, inattentive signal analysis... a perfect storm.”  In any case the information “belongs in the public domain ... information should be free…. I want people to see the truth regardless of who they are because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

Referring to the Collateral Murder video, Manning said, in the logs, he had passed the video to WikiLeaks in February, after the successful transmission of his Reykjavik13 “test document.”

The WikiLeaks feed at Twitter responded to the surprising Wired piece with three comments:  “We never collect personal information on our sources, so we are unable as yet to confirm the Manning story.”  “Allegations in Wired that we have been sent 260,000 classified U.S. embassy cables are, as far as we can tell, incorrect.”  “If Brad Manning, 22, is the Collateral Murder & Garani massacre whistleblower then, without doubt, he’s a national hero.”     The national media picked up the trail the following day.

Manning’s purported exchanges with Lamo had all taken place during a single week, starting on May 21.  Lamo claimed Manning emailed him after finding his name online connected to a film he’d been involved with (he had suggested viewers donate to WikiLeaks). The next day, getting no response, the soldier contacted him via IM – apparently after reading that Wired profile.   

Lamo told The New York Times that it seemed from the online chatting that Manning “was just grabbing information from where he could get it and trying to leak it.”  Lamo had turned over copies of his chat logs with Manning to Army investigators.

 WikiLeaks on Twitter denounced Lamo and Poulsen as “notorious felons, informers & manipulators” and so “journalists should take care.”   Lamo offered his own tweets:  “I outed Brad Manning as an alleged leaker out of duty.” “I would never (and have never) outed an Ordinary Decent Criminal. There’s a difference.”  “I know what it’s like to be 22, scared, and in shackles too. I’ve been there. I hope none of you ever have to make a choice like this.”

It wasn’t known if Lamo was the main, or sole, source in the case against Manning.  He claimed he had turned in Manning because he was worried that disclosure of the information would put people’s lives in danger, the Times’ Elisabeth Bumiller reported.   Asked by Bumiller to discuss what he saw as Manning’s motives, Lamo replied: “Ideology. I think he was dissatisfied with certain military policies and he wanted to adversely affect  U.S. foreign policy…It’s a personal matter for him, and I do not think it was one his family would want aired in the national media.”

 In fact, Manning had cited (in the chat logs) a specific incident that inspired him to take action:

 “i think the thing that got me the most… that made me rethink the world more than anything was watching 15 detainees taken by the Iraqi Federal Police… for printing ‘anti-Iraqi literature’… the iraqi federal police wouldn’t cooperate with US forces, so i was instructed to investigate the matter, find out who the ‘bad guys’ were, and how significant this was for the FPs… it turned out, they had printed a scholarly critique against PM Maliki…]

“i had an interpreter read it for me… and when i found out that it was a benign “political critique titled ‘Where did the money go?’ and following the corruption trail within the PM’s cabinet… i immediately took that information and *ran* to the officer to explain what was going on… he didn’t want to hear any of it… he told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding *MORE* detainees…

“everything started slipping after that… i saw things differently…i had always questioned the things worked, and investigated to find the truth… but that was a point where i was a *part* of something… i was actively involved in something that i was completely against…"

Another key revelation in the chat logs was Manning’s reference to U.S. diplomatic cables — “260,000 in all” — that he had allegedly leaked.  He said, “it’s impossible for any one human to read all quarter-million…and not feel overwhelmed… and possibly desensitized” and “the scope is so broad… and yet the depth so rich.”  And:  “Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack.”

Wired had talked to Manning’s father. “I was in the military for five years,” Brian Manning said. “I had a secret clearance, and I never divulged any information in 30 years since I got out about what I did. And Brad has always been very, very tight at adhering to the rules. Even talking to him after boot camp and stuff, he kept everything so close that he didn’t open up to anything.”

Bradley Manning, after being reprimanded in a disciplinary case, had been demoted from specialist to private first class.   He allegedly told Adrian Lamo that he was about to be discharged because of an “adjustment disorder,” but the military denied this. 

His father told Wired his son “is a good kid.  Never been in trouble.  Never been on drugs, alcohol, nothing.”

Next,  Part III --  More from the "chat logs" as the mystery deepens.

Greg Mitchell's current books on this subject are "The Age of WikiLeaks" and "Bradley Manning, Truth and Consequences," in book and e-book, form.

 

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 173

As I’ve done for nearly six months, I'm updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning all day, with new items added at the top. All times ET.  Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Read about my books The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, and Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here. 

4:50  @WLLegal:  In 30 min interview, fmr NYT counsel James Goodale says prosecuting #WikiLeaks is untenable in light of Pentagon Papers 

1:55  Three designs posted for proposed Bradley Manning billboard in D.C. area as fundraising continues.

1:30  Marcy Wheeler at Fire Dog Lake with interesting comment on AP story about cable that shows U.S. - Saudi plans for faciltiies to protect oil fields and civilian nuclear power sites.   She finds it intriguing that cable is dated one week before Obama won election, when it was obvious he would win.

12:45 Now our linking is surely complete as we are able to bring you, via WL Central, Henry Rollins on WikiLeaks

10:35 Greenpeace blog on WikiLeaks cables on rush to get resources and oil from the Arctic and possibly "stupid tipping point."

10: 00  My new piece, first in a series marking first anniversary of the Bradley Manning case and arrest.  Today:  when leaks first appeared and how the Army private came to (allegedly) chat with Adrian Lamo.

7:55 Sex, Justice & the American Way: Why Larry Flynt gave $50,000 to defend WikiLeaks 

From late Wednesday

In wake of sex abuse case involving IMF chief in New York, Reuters review WikiLeaks cables and finds multiple cases of foreign  diplomats getting charged with such crimes -- usually involving maids or nannies -- and getting away with it due to obstacles or immunity, despite lawsuits.

From @WLLegal:  "DOJ insists it can censor book w/ classified info, even though uncensored copies have been in circulation for months." 

Frontline special on PBS on Manning and Assange next week coincides with first anniversary of Manning's alleged online "chats" with Adrian Lamo.  

12:55 Bill Keller, arch Assange critic, also finds much to hate and fear in...Twitter and Facebook.   Maybe Judy Miller informed him that they harbor WMD -- words of mass destruction?

9:25  Daniel Ellsberg joins the "I Am Bradley Manning" campaign (we have featured link and video this week) with this photo.    His sign reads, however,  "I WAS Bradley Manning," and his caption below: "I was the Bradley Manning of my day. In 1971 I too faced life (115 years) in prison for exposing classified government lies and crimes.  President Obama says 'the Ellsberg material was classified on a different basis.'  True. The Pentagon Papers were not Secret like the Wikileaks revelations, they were all marked Top Secret—Sensitive.

"Ultimately all charges in my case were dropped because of criminal governmental misconduct toward me during my proceedings.  Exactly the same outcome should occur now, in light of the criminal conditions of Manning’s confinement for the last six months."

Syndicate content